Wednesday July 18, 2018

City officials undergo drug tests

CEBU South Bus Terminal (CSBT) administrators subjected drivers, conductors, dispatchers and vendors to a surprise drug test yesterday.

Three were found positive of shabu, said terminal manager Joey Herrera. Herrera said 87 persons underwent the surprise drug test.

Herrera said they agreed with operators that once someone tests positive, he will be suspended before the confirmation tests. If confirmed, he won’t be allowed to drive anymore, he said.

He said it takes a month before confirmatory tests are done.

He said he will submit the names of those confirmed positive to LTO for the suspension of their licenses.

A particular bus company only has two personnel who submitted themselves to the test despite the fact that there were several buses parked at the terminal.

Herrera said he will call the attention of the bus company.

Herrera confirmed last week reports of passengers that some bus employees are into drugs after three bus conductors were arrested inside a drug den in Barangay Duljo Fatima by Mambaling police.

At Cebu City Hall, close to 50 officials of the Cebu City Government and a barangay submitted themselves to a surprise mandatory drug test initiated by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) in the last two days.

At City Hall, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 17 City councilors underwent the tests while their regular session was on-going.

All tested negative.

They did not suspend the proceedings of the session, but each of the councilors and Labella were asked to proceed to the comfort room of the caucus room, right beside the session hall where personnel of Cosap were waiting for them.

Reporters covering the City Hall beat were also included in the drug test.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, who first submitted his urine sample for the exam, said the surprise drug test is a proof that City Government is serious in its campaign against illegal drugs.


“We need to show to our people that the City Officials are also clean, particularly that we are running after drug addicts and pushers,” he said.

Cosap also required all staff of the 17 councilors to undergo the same exam.

Dr. Alice Utlang, head of Cosap said that aside from the legislative department, they will also conduct the same test to the executive department.

The surprise mandatory drug tests was the first that Cosap administered in City Hall for its casual and regular employees.


Last week, they conducted the same test to the newly-hired employees as part of their pre-employment requirements. Ten of the 127 employees tested positive.

Utlang said that if there are city officials who will test positive for the use of illegal substance, it will be up to the Department of Interior and Local Government to act on it, since they are directly under that office.

Twenty-eight officials and workers of Barangay Mambaling also underwent a surprise drug exam last Monday night. No one tested positive.

Out of the 80 barangays in the city, Mambaling was the first barangay to undergo the drug testing this year, said Utlang.

Cosap would have administered the test to 30 officials and workers of the barangay but a barangay official and a tanod left just as the tests started.

Asked what will be next move after it, Utlang said it will be up to the barangay council to act on the matter.